Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut September 19, 2012 - 9:15 am

Nunavut tops Canada for unmarried couples, single-parent families: Stats Can

More than one in three Nunavut couples lives in common-law


Data from Statstics Canada, which released its Portrait of Families and Living Arrangements in Canada report on Sept. 19, shows Nunavut has the highest proportion of unmarried couples in Canada.

Census data from 2011 shows that married couples declined between 2006 and 2011. But they still form the predominant family structure in Canada, accounting for two-thirds of all families.

However, in Nunavut only one-third of all families were headed by married couples.

The proportion of common-law couples were also highest in Nunavut (32.7 per cent ), or twice the national rate.

The proportion of single-parent families was also higher in Nunavut than in Canada.

The national proportion for single-parent families stands at 16.3 per cent nationally, while it’s 28.2 per cent in Nunavut.

This means that nearly one in every three families in Nunavut is headed by a single parent.

Statistics Canada looked at 8,860 private households in Nunavut, of which 3,470 were couples with children, 1,040 couples without children, 1,325 single-parent families, 1,575 one-person households, and 920 multiple-family households.

The highest number of one-person households are located in the Baffin region, nearly three times more than in the Kivalliq and four times higher than in the Keewatin.

Of the 7,780 families in Nunavut, 39.1 per cent or 3,040 were married couples, 32.7 per cent or 2,545 were common-law couples, and 28.2 per cent or 2,195 were single-parent families.

Statistics Canada found the number of same-sex married couples nearly tripled between 2006 and 2011 in Canada, reflecting the first full five-year period during which same-sex marriage has been legal across the country.

StatsCan counted 20 same-sex married couples in Nunavut, divided equally between men and women, and couples with and without children.

Census data also shows the living arrangements of children within Canadian families.

It reveals that, overall, about a quarter of Canadians aged 20 to 29 live with their parents, but in Nunavut, that’s nearly twice as high, with about 40 per cent still living with their parents.

About two-thirds of children aged 14 and under lived with married parents in 2011 in Canada, while an increasing share lived with common-law parents.

In Nunavut, only half of all children aged 14 and under lived with married parents, while nearly 45 per cent lived with common-law parents.

The 2011 Census of Population also counted stepfamilies for the first time. They represented about one in eight couple families with children. In Nunavut that rate is higher, with more than one in 10 children living in stepfamiles. The study also shows 185 children in Nunavut live in foster care.

You can find the Statistics Canada information online here.

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